Just days before what is being labeled as the world’s largest natural disaster, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concluded an agreement with the government of India that would help the two nations prevent, investigate, and suppress customs offenses. In the face of the damage from the tsunami that struck the region in late December, the actual impact of the agreement may be in question.
The Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) will allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to exchange information, intelligence and other data with India to enhance the enforcement of customs laws.
“International trade and criminal activity are both increasing rapidly," said CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. “It is critical that customs agencies arond the world share information in order to secure global trade routes and improve the flow of trade.” He continued describing the agreement as providing the basis for cooperation and investigation in the areas of commercial fraud, smuggling an export controls and related security.